Last updated on August 19th, 2023 at 12:18 pm
Are you thinking of starting a business in Laos? Well, this Lao business vocabulary list is perfect for you. Laos is an exciting place to start any new venture. After years of being a closed kingdom, it has opened up in the last 20 years, and the potential is huge. Here are some basics to get you going: Product (phalidtaphan) ຜະລິດຕະພັນ and Advertisement (kan okh sa na) ການໂຄສະນາ. Ready to learn more? Keep reading below!
As always, if you’re thinking about learning Lao, Ling is your one-stop shop. Don’t be put off by the fact that Lao is a tonal language. Once you have memorized a few Lao phrases, it will all start making sense. Ling has Lao business vocabulary units as well as 100’s more. Don’t miss out on it!
Why Lao Business Vocabulary Matters
Fluency in Lao business vocabulary is a strategic asset. Yep, you read that right! It not only facilitates smoother interactions but also demonstrates respect for the culture and an eagerness to engage meaningfully. By using appropriate terminology, you create a strong foundation for building relationships and advancing your business interests.
Furthermore, have you ever felt lost in a sea of business papers? Not anymore! Your vocabulary lifeboat keeps you afloat, cruising through reports and making smart decisions.
Basic Lao Business Vocabulary
|l am luany
|kan luam tua
|kan okh sa na
Imagine you’re about to step into the thrilling world of Lao business. It’s like a treasure hunt, and guess what? The clues are in the language! Don’t worry, we’re about to hand you the ultimate cheat sheet. We’re not talking about playing golf (though you can do it if you want)—we’re talking about words to use with real business partners while eating dinner or when handing out a business card! Get ready to decode the secrets of Lao business lingo and level up your game!
Basic Greetings And Courtesies In Lao
Demonstrating politeness through simple words can go a long way in establishing rapport. Let’s take a look at the basic greetings and courtesies that we can express in the business scene in Lao.
|sa bai di ton sao
|sa bai di ton suaai
|sa bai di ton aelng
|baw meu koy
|khony kho othd
|How are you?
|sa bai di bo
|Very well, thank you!
|Pleased to meet you!
|nyin di thi dai hu chak
Negotiation And Deal Making In Lao
How about when the negotiation process starts to kick in? It’s inevitable in the business world. Thus, it is best to be communicative in negotiation-making. These are the deal-making words that we can use:
|leuang khum khuaam
|Terms and conditions
|pani pa nom
|kan kai keny
|kan si khad
|Closing the deal
Business Meetings And Etiquette In Lao
In the world of business, etiquette is not only expressed verbally but also in the language of our bodies. Let us look at etiquette in business meetings that is universally understood, even in Laos!
|Greeting and Bowing
|A respectful bow and greeting upon entering.
|Business attire is formal and modest.
|Use titles and last names, adding “Khun” (Mr/Mrs).
|Arrive on time, but meetings may start late.
|Begin with casual conversation before diving in.
|Maintain a calm, polite, and non-confrontational tone.
|Show deference to older or higher-ranked individuals.
|Offering a small gift is a sign of goodwill.
|Note-taking is common and shows engagement.
|Exchange cards with both hands and examine them.
|Waiting for Permission
|Wait for the most senior person to start the meeting.
|Avoid Direct Confrontation
|Disagreements are addressed subtly and indirectly.
|Decisions are often made collectively.
|Tea and Snacks
|Served during meetings as a hospitality gesture.
|Thank your hosts at the end of the meeting.
Financial And Economic Terms
Let’s look at this money-related business vocabulary!
|GDP (Gross Domestic Product)
|ta rad hun
|ad ta dok beny
|ad ta aelk pian
|aehng chung chai
Legal And Regulatory Terms
Be aware of the legal terms to give a layer of protection to your business/businesses. Become a legally-knowledgeable businessman in the country of Laos!
Setting Up A Business In Laos
The business world in Laos is closely related to that of neighbors China and Vietnam. It is important to understand a little of the history to understand the landscape.
China under Mao Zedong was the first real Communist superpower in the region. Mao had a vision of economics radically different from free-market capitalism. Communes would be set up in the countryside, and there’d be no such thing as private property. By his death in the late 70s, the policy had become unsustainable. The Chinese government under Deng Xiaoping introduced free-market reforms turning China into the prosperous country it is today.
In many ways, China is like the planet Jupiter, and the countries surrounding it are like its moons. Whenever China does something, the rest are compelled to follow. When traditional communism failed in China, it also failed in Laos(and Vietnam). It took a few years for the free-market reforms to begin working, but between 1988 and 2008, the average annual growth rate of the economy was 6%. This is almost impossible to conceive of. Only a few countries in history had grown so fast.
However, there is still a significant hangover from the Communist days. Communism was notorious for the sheer level of red tape. Laos, in many respects, is still like that now, and the amount of forms that have to be lodged with the government is maddening. Some include a name reservation certificate, an operating license, and a tax registration certificate. Many Western business owners often partner with a Lao native just to avoid some of these headaches.
The ease of doing business survey, an affiliate of the World Bank, says the biggest obstacle of doing business in Laos is the tax rate, followed by the access to finance, and then the inadequately educated workforce.
The tax rate can be explained by the fact that Laos is still a communist country. Laos is behind Vietnam and Thailand and way behind China in educating the workforce. The problem is that Laos is far more rural than these places. It was allowed to wallow under the rule of the French, whereas other territories like Vietnam became developed. The topography of the place presented all sorts of challenges for any planners who wanted to develop it into a modern industrial hub. Building transport lines is notoriously difficult in a country covered in a mountainous jungle. China has attempted to change that by offering Laos technical assistance in recent years.
Lao Work Culture
Everyday life working in the city is not quite as strenuous as you might imagine. Lao white-collar workers work 35 hours per week, much like English speakers.
Lao Business Trends
The biggest industries in recent years have been hydropower, mining, logging, and construction. If you read our article on Lao natural disasters, you’ll know how controversial the hydropower initiative is. For a start, much of the power is exported out of Laos, and the many dams are putting local fishermen out of work and increasing flood risks.
What is particularly noticeable when you travel around the Lao countryside is the amount of illegal logging. For example, in 2013, Laos exported 1.4 million cubic meters of wood to neighboring countries. That was ten times higher than laid down by government law. This adds to problems exacerbated by natural disasters.
Laos applied for membership to the World Trade Organisation in 1997 and was officially accepted in 2013.
Learn The Lao Language With Ling
The benefits of learning Lao are vast. If you’re thinking of crossing the border and doing business in Northeast Thailand, a solid foundation in Lao will help you with the Thai language.
One of the main takeaways from this article should be that Laos is a land of great opportunity. However, what’s undeniable is that it has workforce problems. Outside the cities, the level of any English, whether academic or social, is very limited. If you want to set up a business in Laos, you must learn some languages.
That is where Ling comes in. Ling is an app with bite-sized lessons that will take you from Lao zero to hero. We have reading, speaking, listening(recorded by native speakers), and grammar guides for those tricky grammar rules. Not forgetting you can learn the Lao alphabet with our Lao writing system.
For a practical dictionary, check out our sister app, Simplylearn.